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Chauncey R. Godwin Sr.(left) and Chauncey R. Godwin Jr.

A retired school teacher, Louise Godwin of Tupelo knows the importance of a good education. That, along with love for her alma mater, is why she chose to donate $25,000 to the Ole Miss First Scholars program.

"I attended the University of Mississippi and I have strong feelings for the school," Godwin said. "I think this is a really good thing that Ole Miss is doing."

Godwin established the Chauncey R. Godwin Sr. and Chauncey R. Godwin Jr. Ole Miss First Scholarship, in memory of her husband and in honor of her son, to assist deserving young men and women who are pursuing an education at the University of Mississippi.

"I feel honored to have an Ole Miss First Scholarship in my name," said Chauncey Godwin Jr. "It’s something that will continue to be meaningful to me. I’m very supportive of the school, because Ole Miss is such a special place to me."

The elder Chauncey Godwin attended Millsaps College in Jackson, and for many years, ran his own manufacturing business in Tupelo. His son graduated from UM with a degree in business administration and is president of C and N Specialty Foods in Tupelo.

Louise Godwin, who earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and taught English and history at Lawhon High School in Tupelo, has long been an Ole Miss fan. Even before she attended the university, she enjoyed football games there with her parents. It became a family affair when her son Chauncey Jr. decided to attend Ole Miss. And, as Chauncey Jr. joked, "My dad became an Ole Miss fan the day he married my mother."

According to Chauncey Jr., one of his father’s favorite things was to attend Ole Miss football games, especially when his grandson Chauncey III was playing. His grandsons John Philip Godwin and William Jackson Nunley also are UM graduates.

Jill Waycaster, a Tupelo native and development officer for the Ole Miss First Scholarship program, met with Louise Godwin last year and told her about Ole Miss First.

"Mrs. Godwin is such an asset to our community and a longtime supporter of Ole Miss and the Tupelo Public School District," Waycaster said. "She saw this scholarship as the perfect opportunity to give back to both Tupelo High School and the university."

The recipient of the Godwin Ole Miss First Scholarship is to be a full-time freshman who is a graduate of Tupelo High School and majoring either in business or liberal arts. The scholar must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average as a full-time student in addition to meeting other requirements, including participation in a mentoring program.

In the Ole Miss First flexible giving model, donors give $25,000 to assist one student for four years and are encouraged to be a part of the leadership/mentorship initiative with the scholarship recipient throughout his or her tenure at Ole Miss. The Ole Miss First program includes 45 scholarships.

For more information about the program, visit


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.